Directed by Ron Underwood
Produced by Gale Anne Hurd
Brent Maddock
S. S. Wilson
Screenplay by Brent Maddock
S. S. Wilson

Kevin Bacon
Fred Ward
Finn Carter
Michael Gross
Reba McEntire

Music by Ernest Troost
Cinematography Alexander Gruszynski
Editing by O. Nicholas Brown
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release January 19, 1990
Running time 96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $11 million
Gross revenue $48,572,000
Followed by Tremors 2: Aftershocks

Tremors is a 1990 American western monster film produced by Gale Anne Hurd, Brent Maddock, and S. S. Wilson, directed by Ron Underwood, and written by Maddock, Wilson, and Underwood. Tremors stars Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, and Reba McEntire and was released by Universal Studios, the first installment of the Tremors franchise.

Tremors was followed by four direct-to-video sequels, Tremors 2: Aftershocks, Tremors 3: Back to Perfection and Tremors 5: Bloodlines, as well as a direct-to-video prequel, Tremors 4: The Legend Begins. Thirteen episodes of Tremors: The Series, a television program based on the film series, aired March through August 2003.


Valentine "Val" McKee and Earl Basset work as handymen in Perfection, Nevada, an isolated ex-mining settlement in the high desert east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. They eventually tire of their jobs and leave for Bixby, the nearest town, but as they leave, they discover another resident, Edgar, dead at the top of an electrical tower, though still holding on to the beams with a .30-30 Winchester rifle. Jim Wallace, the town doctor, determines that Edgar died of dehydration, apparently afraid to climb down after being trapped for a few days. Later on, an unknown force kills an elderly shepherd, "Old Fred," and his flock of sheep. Upon discovering his severed head buried in the sand, Val and Earl become convinced that a killer is on the loose and head back to town to warn the other residents. They try to get help, but upon discovering that the phone lines are dead, they find the only road out of town blocked by a rock slide that downed the phone lines. On the way back to town, they get their truck stuck on what they later find to be a snake-like creature that wrapped itself around its rear axle.

Val and Earl leave on horseback to get help, and they discover Wallace's buried car, with Wallace and his wife missing. As they press on, the attacker suddenly erupts out of the ground, revealing the snake-like creature to be one of multiple "tongues" employed by an enormous burrowing worm-creature that is later named a "graboid". Thrown from their horses, the two men run for their lives. The chase ends when the eyeless graboid violently rams itself into the concrete wall of an aqueduct and dies from the impact. However, Rhonda LeBeck, a graduate student conducting seismology tests in the area who stumbles onto the scene, deduces there are three other graboids after finding three similar seismic disturbances happening at the same time. The three are then trapped overnight at a cluster of boulders by another graboid, eventually escaping by pole-vaulting from rock to rock to reach Rhonda's truck.

After they return to town, the graboids attack, eventually killing general store owner Walter Chang and forcing the other citizens to the rooftops of buildings. Survivalist couple Burt and Heather Gummer manage to kill one of the graboids with an elephant gun after unknowingly luring it to their basement with a vibrating machine. In town, the graboids attack the foundations of the buildings, knocking over Nestor's trailer and dragging him down underground. Realizing they cannot stay any longer, Val commandeers a bulldozer and chains a dump trailer to the rear while everyone else distracts the graboids, and the survivors use it to leave Perfection to use a "jeep trail" set in bedrock to escape to a mountain range; they drive by the Gummer compound to pick up Burt and Heather who are on the roof, and Burt bemoans the fact that most of his survivalist measures are buried underground. However, on the way there, the graboids disable the bulldozer by digging a wide trench just below the surface of the ground, forcing the survivors to flee to the safety of a large boulder while scaring the graboids away with Burt's homemade explosives.

Earl later gets the idea to lure the graboids out and have them swallow more of Burt's explosives. While this works on one graboid, the other spits the explosive back towards the survivors, forcing Val, Earl, and Rhonda off the rock to avoid the explosion. Equipped with one last bomb, Val allows the graboid to chase him to the edge of a cliff and then scares it with the bomb, sending the panicked graboid tunneling in through the face of the cliff and falling to its death. The group returns to town, where they call in the authorities to begin an investigation of the graboids (with Rhonda staying as local expert to supervise), and Earl goads Val into approaching Rhonda romantically.


  • Kevin Bacon as Valentine "Val" McKee
  • Fred Ward as Earl Bassett
  • Finn Carter as Rhonda LeBeck
  • Michael Gross as Burt Gummer
  • Reba McEntire as Heather Gummer
  • Victor Wong as Walter Chang
  • Bobby Jacoby as Melvin Plugg
  • Ariana Richards as Mindy Sterngood
  • Charlotte Stewart as Nancy Sterngood
  • Tony Genaro as Miguel
  • Richard Marcus as Nestor Cunningham
  • Sunshine Parker as Edgar Deems
  • Conrad Bachmann as Dr. Jim Wallace
  • Bibi Besch as Megan Wallace
  • Michael Dan Wagner as Old Fred
  • John Goodwin as Howard
  • John Pappas as Carmine

External links

  • Tremors at the Internet Movie Database

TremorsTremors 2: AftershocksTremors 3: Back to PerfectionTremors 4: The Legend BeginsTremors 5: Bloodlines


Burt GummerGraboidsEarl BassettNancy SterngoodMindy SterngoodJodi ChangMelvin Plugg

Kevin Bacon films

Friday the 13th (1980)  · Tremors (1990)  ·

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